Offseason Q&A: Michael Aubrey

Michael Aubrey was one of Syracuse’s best offensive performers last season – with one legendary four-home run game standing above the rest.  But he won’t be doing it again this year.  After a Google search revealed nothing about Aubrey’s 2012 baseball plans, I decided to call him up yesterday and ask him myself – only to find out we’d seen the last of Aubrey on a professional baseball field.  Here’s why.

So, what’s on tap for next year?

Nothing right now – I’m starting school today.  I played nine great seasons, I’m at a point where the offers weren’t much because of the knee surgery I had last year and it’s been a little battle getting that (knee) where it needs to be.  With that and the stresses of not being with my family, I’m retiring.

Is this a 100% retirement?

Yeah, I’m pretty certain.  I’ve got one and a half years of school to finish my accounting degree at LSU-Shreveport, and that’s my main focus starting today.  That’s how much time I would have had left at Tulane.  I have to transfer now because of the convenience of living at home and I’m not going through the travel of going to New Orleans, but being a liberal arts school like Tulane, you lose some hours.

Did you decide back in Tulane that you would finish your degree some day?

Absolutely.  My intentions of going to school in the first place were to complete my degree.  Circumstances arose when I was picked in the first round and had an opportunity I couldn’t give up.

Was the knee surgery a large part of your decision to retire?

Absolutely.  Being an older veteran guy, you’ve been around for a little while, know what it’s like to play every day, what it takes…with the knee surgery, I don’t know how it’s going to respond when I start putting the stresses on it.  It’d be different if I was free and easy, but with the stresses of being successful as a baseball player – I was at point where I was going to be on the fence.

Do you think you’ll ever second-guess your decision?

I don’t think that I’ll ever regret anything I’ve done.  Baseball’s tough, man, not just physically but mentally.  I have two younger kids ages six and three that are so active, and I won’t miss anything.

Any chance you’ll be a coach some day?

You know what, I’ve had several coaching opportunities already.  But I’ve lived that lifestyle already.  I don’t think the reward is worth the risk of spending that much time away from my family.  I’m very family-oriented with my brothers and parents, and I’ve been away for the last nine years.  It’s easy to say that when I’m done playing I’m done for good.  Does that mean not helping out local guys?  Absolutely not, the love for game will always be there – but not as a lifestyle.  I’ll be always involved in it, though.

I know you’re a big reader.  Anything good you’ve caught up on since the end of the season?

Some intermediate accounting books and principles of management, that’s filling up the library right now.  It’s going to shift to the foundations of business soon.

What do you plan to do with the degree?

Nothing major, I’m just trying to be a family man.  Initially you hope to become a CPA and then work in some type of firm – something decent where you can enjoy yourself.

I was talking to Matt Antonelli and he told me you won the Chiefs’ fantasy football league this year.

Yes.  That was phenomenal.  I had a real streaky season.  I started out 2-0, lost five in a row, then won six in a row.  I had all the momentum going into the playoffs, I guess.  A lot of guys that I had still had something to play for at the end of year, like Tom Brady and Ray Rice for first round byes.  There wasn’t a lot of trash talking in the league though, that’s what was surprising – outside of (Collin) Balester and Book (Greg Booker).

——-

Let us know if there’s any former Syracuse player you want to hear from.  Shoot us an e-mail at kevinbrown@syracusechiefs.com or jasonbenetti@syracusechiefs.com.

Stay tuned for Thursday’s Culture Challenge featuring Rob Schneider and…that’s all you need to know, isn’t it?

KB

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